• Lindsay Alexander

Using Essential Oils for Your Pets

Updated: May 16, 2019

Just as essential oils can benefit humans both physically and mentally, they can also benefit your pets in similar ways. Of course, there's an essential oil for that #taeoft!

It is important to remember that the essential oils blends and aromatherapy that human beings can handle, might not produce the same results in our pets. Animals do have a heightened sense of smell compared to humans, so it is best to ease into using oils.

Help your pet get comfortable with essential oils by initially wearing them and diffusing them in their space, or apply to your hands and let the animal smell them and get used to the scents.

Most animals are more sensitive to essential oils than humans

Here are some general guidelines when using essential oils for pets:

  • Start by heavily diluting the oil and then administer in moderation.

  • Every animal will react differently, so keep a careful on how each respond to the oils. It's especially important to keep even the most diluted oils away from your pet's eyes.

  • Avoid using oils such as Oregano and Thyme which are high in phenols, especially cats.

  • Cats tend to be especially averse to citrus oils.

The size of your pet affects the amount of oil you should use.

  • For smaller animals like cats and small dogs, dilute prior to application with the following ratio, for every 1 drop of oil, use 4–5 drops of a diluting agent, such as V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex).

  • For larger dogs, for every 1 drop of oil use 3–5 drops of a quality diluting agent.

Once they’re used to essential oils, animals can respond well to topical application.

  • Applying the application to your pet's paws works well.

  • You can also rub the oils onto your own hands and then stroke the animal’s fur.

  • Combine essential oils with V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex in a spray bottle for larger applications (like a flea spray).

Dr. Richard Palmquist has the following to say about essential oils and your pets:

“Oils have been shown to have many possible desirable effects such as reducing anxiety and inflammation, fighting oxidative processes, battling toxins and fighting infections by inhibiting bacteria, fungi and viruses. Oil odors can also be used to affect mental states and memory.”

Cats are particularly at risk for oil reactions so we use oils very sparingly on cats. One drop of essential oil diluted with about 50 drops of a pure carrier oil such as grape seed oil is usually sufficient.

Essential oils are a fantastic solution to many issues, and a simple, safe and respectful way to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Essential Oils that are great for dogs

Essential oils present a safer alternative to medications to help anxiety, fight itchy skin, help digestive upset and much more.

Below are five essential oils you can keep handy for your dog!

1) Yarrow

Yarrow (particularly Blue Yarrow) works very well for itchy skin, allergies, stings, bites, to stop bleeding on minor wounds. It's also quite effective for ear infections and kidney infections. It's used as an anti-inflammatory for sprains and pulls or arthritis, and physical or emotional trauma.

2) Cedarwood Atlas or Himalaya 

Cedarwood is a great flea repellent. It's also works as an expectorant for kennel cough, stimulates circulation, helps reduce muscle stiffness, arthritis, back pain. It helps to clear up dandruff and stimulates hair growth.

Cedarwood has also been attributed to strengthening kidney function, works as a diuretic and a lymphatic decongestant. It's also effective for calming nervous aggression and provides a sense of grounding and inner security.

3) Helichrysum

This is a magical oil for dogs.  Helichrysum essential oil is known to assist in liver and digestive function, helps to clear mucus from the lungs and improves immune function.  It's also an antiseptic, can heal broken capillaries, ease swelling, it is antiviral and reduces allergies. 

4) Lemon

Lemon essential oil is an immune stimulant, supports digestion, antiviral, antiseptic, it stimulates pancreatic function, treats animal diabetes, anti-anemic, anticoagulant, works on fungal infections, antiseptic (air), breaks down excess bone deposits, eases arthritis and kidney stones, clears mental confusion and increases concentration (great for training).

5) Lavender

Lavender is the most soothing of the essential oils. It's mildly sedative to relax the mind, heart rate, reducing anxiety and hyperactivity. It works for bruises, burns, flea bites (also a flea repellent), reduces scarring. 

We love our pets and we want to give them to live a healthy, happy life.  Since they can't talk to us, giving them a natural alternative to otherwise synthetic remedies we can feel more confident that we are not creating other problems that can be caused by man-made chemical products.

A great reference for using essential oils for your pets: Essential Oils for Animals

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